Final Leonard Dillon Album To Be Released March 6th

Leonard Dillon The Ethiopian

Photo Credit: David Gould - Young Cub Records

“Long before artists like Bob Marley and Peter Tosh made reggae music synonymous with social and spiritual uplift, Mr. Dillon had emerged as one of the first Jamaican singers to infuse his songs with Afro-centric themes and sharp-eyed commentary.” – NY TIMES

The legendary singer of Jamaican reggae icons The Ethiopians Leonard Dillon passed away on September 28th of last year. He had been battling lung and prostate cancer at the time but it was still a shock to many who were unaware of how embattled he truly was. Even though he was fighting cancer he was still hard at work on a new set of tunes as any great master artist might push on in the face of adversity. He was working with another legendary vocal group The Silvertones, best known for their work for Lee “Scratch” Perry in the early 1970s at the time.

The work they were doing was completed for the most part before his passing though and will be released next week on March 6th via Young Cub Records, home of the Aggrolites. The set, entitled “The Ethiopian”, features 9 brand new, original songs featuring The Silvertones along with members of John Brown’s Body and 10 Ft. Ganja Plant. The recordings were produced by Craig “Dub Fader” Welsch (John Brown’s Body, The Aggrolites, 10 Ft. Ganja Plant) and represents the last body of work Mr, Dillon ever created. It is available for pre-order now via

There will be a limited edition 500 unit run of a teal colored translucent 150 gram vinyl LP available along with full digital release.

Sample “Jah is Love” [audio:]

During their heyday, The Ethiopians were one of Jamaica’s most influential vocal groups. The duo, which featured Leonard Dillon and Stephen Taylor, was at the forefront of the transition from ska to rocksteady. Moreover, Dillon’s compositional style and use of Rastafarian-themed lyrics also paved the way for the socially conscious roots reggae era that was to come.

In 1964 Dillon met Peter Tosh who admired his original material and introduced him to the other members of the Wailers. In turn, the Wailers brought Dillon to Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s Studio One, where he made his first recordings under the name Jack Sparrow. Since these first recordings, Dillon has gone on to record with the likes of Vincent Chin, Prince Buster, Joe Gibbs, Bob Andy, Rupie Edwards, and Lee “Scratch” Perry.

“..Mr. Dillon’s best songs featured a rebellious point of view that paved the way for reggae firebrands like Burning Spear and Culture. – NY TIMES

Sample “On My Side” [audio:]

LP PackageLeonard Dillon
The Ethiopian
Young Cub Records 2012

1. Let Me Live
2. High Grade
3. Jah is Love
4. My Lady (disco mix)
5. On My Side
6. Jah is My Light
7. You lied to Me
8. Hotta Fire
9. Good You Do (disco mix)

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: All pre-orders receive an instant download of the extremely rare track “Honey Bunch,” recorded by The Ethiopians over 30 years ago!

Limited Colored Vinyl LP: $19.99 16.99 (save $3)
Digital LP: $9.99 7.99 (save $2)

Pre-Order Now.

I've been involved in the Los Angeles music scene since at least 1995 going to shows, promoting, spinning records and running labels. Ska and Early Reggae are my passion among other things of course.